This article was originally posted on Hispanic PR Blog
6 Latina Self-Made Entrepreneurs Seizing Technology and Building Winning Businesses
Seasoned or budding entrepreneurs, all of these women have a few things in common. They’re Latina, self-made, have untraditional business models that have been built from the ground up, and are leveraging the tech world in smart and innovative ways. They are without a doubt changing the face and perception of Latinas in business. Here they are in alphabetical order:
- Jessica Alba, The Honest Company – Making “Toxic-free” Trendy
Jessica Alba may be a well-known Hollywood starlet, but she has also proven to be a phenomenal business woman – growing her non-toxic, e-commerce business into a multi-million dollar machine with a current valuation of $1 billion. The Honest Company’s product lines, which range from baby care products to household cleaners, are now also making their way onto retail shelves across America, including retail giant Target.
- Marie Forleo, B-School – Her Life As A Brand
Despite landing enviable positions on Wall Street and in magazine publishing, Marie Forleo could not shake off the feeling that there was something better out there for her. Naturally a people-person, she decided to take an online course and pursue a less familiar career path as a life-coach – a title that she admits she initially found to be “cheesy.” After deciding to develop a newsletter on the topic, Forleo leveraged her personal network to establish a loyal following. Today, Forleo is a marketing and lifestyle expert, bestselling author, and Oprah certified business woman (yes, Oprah interviewed her). She is teaching individuals how to succeed in business and life through B-School, an online business school for modern entrepreneurs developed by Forleo.
- Laura I. Gómez, Atipica – Tech Diversity Guru
In spite of having arrived to the United States at the age of 10 as an undocumented immigrant, Laura I. Gómez has proven to be a force to be reckoned with. Gomez went on to graduate from a top college, receive U.S. residency, and work with leading tech companies including Twitter, YouTube, and Jawbone. She is now taking her tech know-how to the next level with her recently launched startup. Her company, Atipica, helps the tech industry address its diversity challenge by working directly with hiring managers to improve companies’ recruitment and retention efforts.
- Maria Theresa Kumar, Voto Latino – Transforming The Latino Millennial Electorate
Since its founding in 2004, Voto Latino (VL) has registered nearly a quarter-million voters. Founder and CEO, Maria Theresa Kumar, started VL out of her apartment in New York. Her vision: develop a platform that will empower Latino millennials through civic engagement. Today, VL is stronger than ever and recently launched what many are calling its most innovative program yet – VL’s Innovators Challenge. The program helps Latino millennials translate their “tech savvy” into technology work and is helping pave the way towards greater Latino entry into the Science, Engineering, Technology, and Math (STEM) fields.
- Michelle Rosado, Raging Babe – Engineer Turned Boxing Promoter
Michele Rosado may have started off as an engineer but her passion for the sport of boxing has led her down a road less traveled, perhaps untouched by most Latinas. Her company, Raging Babe – originally founded in Arizona – is taking the boxing community by storm and has significantly contributed to the resurgence of the sport in Arizona. Today, Rosado is taking her business to an entirely new level with a Raging Babe online store, radio show, and a social media following that is helping to promote her brand to more than just your typical boxing aficionado. Rosado is blazing new trails for women and smartly leveraging technology to help build her boxing empire, which today extends well beyond Arizona.
- Lynette Spano, SCI Consulting – Triple Threat
After working as a receptionist for a software company, Spano’s interest in technology quietly developed into one of the largest woman-owned federal contracting companies in the country – SCI Consulting. But serving as CEO of a multi-million dollar IT firm is not all Spano does, she is also a Latin recording artist – a path she pursued after suffering from a life threatening brain aneurysm. In 2010, Spano founded Stars, Stripes, and Hearts, a nonprofit initiative that raises funds for Hispanic service members suffering from mental health conditions.